Wording the Silent Art: Essays and Writings


208 pages
ISBN 1-55128-094-9
DDC 709'.71





M. Wayne Cunningham is a past executive director of the Saskatchewan
Arts Board and the former director of Academic and Career Programs at
East Kootenay Community College.


Barbara Caruso has been writing critiques and creating visual art for
more than 30 years. Wording the Silent Art is a collection of her
letters, essays, reviews, and articles about artifacts, artists,
creative techniques, and her own artistic output. Included are pieces
about the Toronto art scene, the George Costakis collection of Soviet
art, Barnett Newman’s Voice of Fire, and artists Vera Frenkel, Andreas
Gehr, Greg Curnoe, and Guido Molinari.

Caruso tells it like it is. In “Voice of Fire: The Controversy,”
for example, she levels the broadside, “As with most art stories, the
news media favoured absurdity, centred on controversy, and promoted
uninformed opinion as the barometer of consensus.” Her frank
opposition to coloured walls in art galleries (which she believes are
responsible for “the loss of serious engagement and quiet
contemplation of the art”) and other strongly expressed views are a
major contribution to the ongoing debate among artists, curators, and


Caruso, Barbara., “Wording the Silent Art: Essays and Writings,” Canadian Book Review Annual Online, accessed May 26, 2024, https://cbra.library.utoronto.ca/items/show/9137.